SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia, 6th October 2005
The Inter-American Development Bank awarded its annual prizes for microenterprise development in Latin America and the Caribbean to a microfinance institution in Mexico, a nongovernmental organization in Nicaragua, a small business association in Uruguay and a Bolivian social entrepreneur.
The IDBs new president, Luis Alberto Moreno, handed the prizes on Thursday to leaders of Financiera Compartamos of Mexico, Fondo de Desarrollo Local of Nicaragua, CAMBADU of Uruguay and social entrepreneur Julio Alem Rojo of Bolivia, in a ceremony held during the 8th Microenterprise Forum.
The IDB awards were established by the IDB in 1999 to recognize outstanding contributions and innovations by leading institutions and individuals in the development of microenterprise, an economic sector that generates nearly half the jobs in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Fondo de Desarrollo Local, partner of ALTERFIN, garnered the Award for Excellence in Microfinance in the category of unregulated institutions. This Nicaraguan nonprofit organization, launched in 1993 as a project by a Central American University institute, stands out for its successful growth in rural microcredit, a market segment that is particularly difficult for Latin American financial institutions. Currently, FDLs operations portfolio has some 36,000 active loans totaling 21.6 million dollars, making it the largest institution of its type in Nicaragua. Its 29 branches provide individual and joint loans to its clients, mostly small farmers and poor women. FDL has been improving its performance and enhancing its processes, obtaining excellent returns. In partnership with the Instituto de Investigación Nitlapán of the Central American University, it also offers technical assistance to its rural clients.
FDL chairman Father Peter Marchetti received the prize. His speach is available on www.alterfin.be
For further information, see www.alterfin.be